“Good tech integration starts with good pedagogy.”
One of my professors recently stated this, and I could not have asked for a better quote to start a course on Trends and Issues in Educational Technology when considering the mindset essential for implementing technology into education. It can be extremely easy to use tech simply to be “the most modern” or to sell the school as a product. At the same time, it is quite possible to deeply desire improvements in the infusion of technology, connections on local and global scales, and collaboration focused on moving the learning experiences forward. (♪These are a few of my favorite things…)
This is when organizations such as the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) come into play and make a huge difference. They have been ongoing for over 30 years, and only in the last few recent years have I heard of them and the amazing work they have been doing. One of the many things they have provided for educators on all levels is standards for integrating technology into education. These have served to challenge, empower, and transform the use of technology. ISTE also holds major conferences every year where thousands of educators gather for a plethora of opportunities for learning as well as non-stop collaboration. ISTE is one of the several organizations I follow closely while working abroad in order to stay updated on transformative teaching, the proper integration of technology within my context, and an insane amount of resources.
More important than technology are the media utilized for learning and growth. Recently, I have been reading Teaching in a Digital Age by Dr. Tony Bates, and he takes a chapter to explain the differences between technology, media, and their intricacies. It was humbling delving into a topic like this since solely relying on my experience had me certainly confuse the meanings of the two words. In my mind, media had basically become technology and vice versa. Differentiating the two and examining the perplexity of each had me build a fresh foundation of understanding for the implementation of technology within teaching, leading, and learning.
I will confess too. I had forgotten that media is the plural form of medium, or “a means by which something is communicated or expressed” (according to my Apple dictionary). Thus, I took this revisited piece of word knowledge to the ELLs in my high school health class. The topic came up naturally since we discuss media occasionally in class. I asked the students to describe how media and technology are different. Following some proceeding thoughts, I then asked if they knew that the word media was the plural form of a word. They didn’t. It’s crucial to understand what we don’t know, and that’s what has been happening in my Master’s courses, research on technology’s place in education, and reflections/steps in improving my own teaching.